mandag den 14. december 2009

Manu Chao in Rio - 10.12/2009

Manu Chao Live In Rio from gunvor jøsendal on Vimeo.

Touristing in the Rio-rain

We saw this

Not, as we expected, this

And the view, was not as spectacular as the postcards everywhere around us had promised.

But ah well - we figure - been there, done that, bought the refrigerator magnet. Check.

+ We recon that we got an authentic experience of how
Jesus the redeemer must have felt in the movie 2012.

Going in to our last week in Sao Paulo

And we're back where we started: With the lovely Ferraros!

An odd but good feeling, being in the same place as we were while looking forward to everything Sao Paulo had to offer --- now looking back, figuring out what to bring with us, and what to give back.

This last week stands in the sign of; Evaluating, feedback-ing, closing doors, writing the report, handing over material, harvesting and documenting learning, and - last but not least - attending the Hub Christmas Party on Friday.

Brazilian greetings.

After a couple of months in brazil I have taken the freedom to create an advisory guide when it comes to greetings.

In brazil greeting people, known or new introductions, always contains one kiss on the right cheek. It might be combined with a hand shake, kiss, and than what i would call the half hug- embracing the other person with your left arm while shaking you right hands and kissing right cheeks. complicated? not yet, this is an easy procedure, when getting used to it. The complications occur, when you move from the hand shake+ half hug to the whole hug- It is unknown exactly when a relationship develops into the whole hug greeting, but my statistics shows that it is around the 3rd greeting of the same person. But be aware! a combination of the whole hug and the half hug+ hand shake can easily end in what i would refer to as the crotch shake, leaving both parties of the greeting fairly embarrassed.

Questions of interest- Almost all greetings consists of a to do bem, or how are you during. The correct social way to reply to this is to mirror the question or simply do a right back at you: how are you during? Since it is a question, one might start to answer it, by telling about how ones day has been; if you are fine or perhaps if you have a hint of a stomach ache- don't! This is not the time to utter your feelings. The greeting is a sign of interest, but should be interpreted as: "I hope you are during well, but I have no time to hear your answer" If you, as I have, begin to to talk about your situation, you will find your self in the situation of talking out into the air, as the one who asked you the question passed by minutes ago.

Good luck with the greetings!

Random robbery

Our first night in Rio, down by Copa Cabana beach.

I am standing outside a fast food joint, waiting for Anne who went in to borrow their toilet.

A young man comes up to me and starts speaking in Portuguese. With my limited vocabulary I keep saying that I don't understand, and don't speak Portuguese, and he goes over to speaking English.

"Gimme money, gimme money" he keeps repeating, but as I don't have any handy change, I just keep saying "No", in an "as a matter of fact" kind of way.

After he has kept on repeating his request quite a few times, I happen to look down and see he is holding a knife - a table, or "butter knife" as we call them back home - pointing towards me... More than anything I am surprised by the turn of events (as I had not yet experienced the situation as scary or especially threatening), and could not help but laugh a little at the absurdity --- This was definitively not the horrifying experience of a robbery that so many people had warned us about (involving gangs of people, dark alleys, Rambo-style knifes, big guns etc).

Without knowing exactly what to do, but quite sure that I was not willing to give him my bag, (containing little or no cash, but my camera and private notes) I just kept saying no, until he started laughing as well. As he stowed his table knife back in to his pocket, and walked away, he turned around and smiled, waved at me and blew me a kiss...


30 seconds later Anne came out from the restaurant, and all was well again.

No harm, no foul - and we never experienced any similar situation during our stay in Rio - but on the other hand probably became even more aware of being careful when out alone. For the future, one of our best methods was to find a macho and Brazilian looking guy (which naturally Rio is full of), going in our direction, and just walking behind him, close enough so that it would look as if we were together.

onsdag den 9. december 2009

Workshop with the Hub Team

Weekend - 5th & 6th of December

Workshop with the Hub Team from gunvor jøsendal on Vimeo.

Participants: Pablo, Henrique, Maria, Barbara, Marina & Franco.

mandag den 7. december 2009

Wherever I hang my hat...

...that's my home.

Right now I left it on the bedpost in one of the rooms of a big feminine apartment in a new part of town (Morumbi, in the south of SP). Here we live with two sisters; Karina and Emily. - But who knows for how long?
As I was driving home from the workshop today I had a conversation with one of the team members Barbara, about creating a home and leaving it.

She is originally from Argentina, but after a a stop over in Montreal, Berlin, and the country side of Brazil, she ended in Sao Paulo (at least for now).

"I have an immigration plan of 3 years," she told me, "I don't want to get used to living in Sao Paulo".
We talked about how this can become an urge within you, not to become to tied to your rhythms and routines, having a desire to explore more and different ways of living. All at the same time, having the ambivalent need to create a home wherever you are.

I never get to hang pictures on my walls with nails - maybe because I don't want to become to set and settled?
It makes me think of the street hustlers. They have all their things scattered in front of them on the street, almost similar to the permanent stores. But all their things lay on a sheet, in which corners they can grab a hold, thereby gathering all their things in a bulk ready to run from the police as fast as they can.

I have no police to run from, but it did not take me l
ong to gather my things and run to SP. So I have the exploration covered but the feeling of home is a bit more tricky. Maybe it lays in the routines we create wherever we are, the feeling of familiarity. Gunvor and I had one corner café that we kept retuning to in the last neighbor hood we lived in. It was surely not because of its swab interior or high sense of hygiene. More likely because we got to know the waiters there, as they did us and our regular orders. And we never discussed where to sit, because the regular table was a given, and provided as soon as we approached.
If exploration is about not knowing, but to search, then home might be about knowing - not necessarily where to hang your pictures on the wall, but how you like your steak, or how your friend respond to your jokes, who you hope to have received a mail from when you open your laptop, or where you lay your hat when you walk in the door...

Add on from Gunvor:

And knowing that if there is no natural place to hang your hat - your traveling buddy will wear it, and sing happy songs, until everything looks bright again...

onsdag den 2. december 2009

Carnaval on a Sunday

Carnaval from gunvor jøsendal on Vimeo.

Have you been asking yourself...

"...where are the daily blogposts these days?"

Well, we asked ourselves this question today, and it turns out that we have been pretty busy the last week. These are some of things we've been doing:
  • We evaluated the first month of our internship
  • Our project changed direction - again
  • We started buying Christmas presents
  • We had a presentation for the Hub, of one of the projects we have been working on so far
  • We started designing the process we're doing next weekend
  • We had a mentormeeting with Pablo, and a learningmeeting (with ourselves)
  • We met Jeff from Reos, who Maja Brita also met in Joburg
  • We got even more mosquito-bites
  • We had a "turbo tipsy trivselsrunde"
  • We went to the cinema and saw the new Twilight movie, "Lua Nova" (hAhAhA) and "500 days of summer"
  • We packed up and moved again (to the south of Sao Paulo)
  • We went to a big event held at an old factory, together with some people from the Hub
  • We went to the Sunday market in Liberdade (the Japanese part of town)
  • We decided to go to Rio sometime next week
  • We interviewed all the members of the Hub team
  • We skyped with people from back home
  • We slept at the Hub
  • We had a management-meeting in the pool
  • We spent several hours in a carnavalstore
  • We went to Vila Magdalena
  • We started planning our report
  • ...And probably some other things that I can not think of right now
Anyways. We have become aware of our lack of effort in the blogging-department, and will see if it's not a trend we can reverse, as we have become surprisingly fond of our own blog.

--- Stay tuned ---

mandag den 23. november 2009

Who wants to be Ken?

On Thursday I got a pre-Christmas gift from Anne - A foam skeleton in 10 pieces.

The result (as displayed in the picture), for some reason reminded me of the other night, when Anne and I sat on the terrace, talking about a shared childhood experience...:

Playing with barbiedolls, together with our friends, when along comes a challenge...: Who's going to be Ken?

We remember fear striking our young minds, of the thought of not being the beautiful, successful Barbie, but the anonymous accessory of a man; Ken.

Then again, as our talk progressed, we came to think of the one girl who always ended up being Ken. (Turns out that almost every group of young girls has her. She's usually the same girl who also goes along with being the father when you play house, and using with the brown crayon when you draw...)

And the question arose: "Did she mind being Ken? Was she just more mature then the rest of us, and saw that the shape of the plastic doll did not really matter? Did she feel like a martyr? Or, might it be, that she just wanted to?"

We started contemplating how one so often just assume that the other people in a given situation have the same agenda, and want the same things as you. A set of assumptions which sometimes results in annoying misunderstandings, where people start a unspoken rase, either to get out of the undesirable role, or to take it on - in order to spare the others whom you assume feel the same.

This brings me back to Ken, which I have named my new skeleton, who has become a new tool and metaphor for us.

We have decided to use Ken as a reminder in our work, to check in with eachother's wants and needs through verbalizations like "Is this a Barbie or Ken-type of assignment for you?", “I feel like you are being Ken a lot lately, do you feel the same?” & “Thank God, Anne, that so many of my Kens are your Barbies”.

--- This way we have a silly metaphor to get around our now built-in politeness (that makes us reach for what we individually see at the least desirable tasks), and gives us a perspective on how we're both feeling about the tasks we're working on.

torsdag den 19. november 2009

Workshop at the Hub

Yesterday we held a workshop at the hub. It was about capturing the dreams of the Hub, telling the previous success stories, and pinpointing the challenges.

This Process was for the Hub members to share their expert knowledge of the Hub culture with each other, and with us.

We will use the findings together with other information, as fundament and evaluation criteria for the concepts that we are developing, in order to support a stronger community of practice at the Hub Sao Paulo.

tirsdag den 17. november 2009

Jungle Boogie

A trip to Boiçucanga and Camburi, north of Sao Paulo - beach and rainforest -
Anne, Matilde & Gunvor

Jungle Boogie from gunvor jøsendal on Vimeo.

mandag den 16. november 2009

Chasing waterfalls

This Weekend we went to Cambori A city north of SP. Here we lived at a hostel between the rain forest and the beach. Saturday we went out on a journey to find a secret waterfall supposedly with a healing effect.

But to get there we had to over-win many obstacles in our way. Walking on small paths of clay red ground in the moist forrest, filled with roots to trip over, or hold on to, when the hilly country became to slippery, or the path to close to the slope turning to the watercourse we walked by. We even had to climb under a overthrown tree on the way

But as in many journeys, if you hold on and stay courages you will be rewarded in the end- and so we were. With a beautiful scenery of a waterfall that ended in a small forest lake, created over many years, where the water had pushed aside all stones and ground and created this little pond for us to swim in. Seemingly ice cold after a heated walk, clear and twinkling from the light beams that found their way through the thicket wood.

onsdag den 11. november 2009

And then there was darkness

Yesterday the streets went dark, actually everything went dark. Sao Paulo lost all power from 11 pm till morning time. To our luck, we were having a sushi dinner, and with no food to cook, the forced candlelight dinner was quite romantic.

On our way home, nothing looked like itself, actually we could not see much at all. We were guided by the echoing whistles of the police men, waving the traffic around in every intersection. As we walked, the frontier lights from the cars, would illuminate the streets, and give us a peak on where to step on the steep streets, before they blinded us entirely.

At the terrace at home, with the obligatory night cab, the compounds around us had turned into their individual waterloo scandals, with flashlights waving around. Others filled with flickering warm lights from the candles in the apartments of those still awake.

The only one who seemed to be satisfied with the situation, was the bum sleeping at the bus stop, finally able to lay down undisturbed from all the flashing Christmas decorations from the department stores.

tirsdag den 10. november 2009

A New Home

New home, new family. Which consists of Natalie, Gustavo and Fransisco 2 years! It is closer to the Hub, only 15 min, on our princess feet. The area is filled with restaurants, bars and interesting stores, and if SP becomes to overwhelming we like to have a drink on the terrace in the hammock, preferably with one of us reading a book aloud.

mandag den 9. november 2009

Presenting the Kaospilots

Every day, at 5 PM, there is a Hub cafe where everyone meets over a cup of coffee and some sort of activity or presentation.

Last Thursday we presented the Kaospilots, and we will do it again this Tuesday.

The weekend is over, but the memories remain

Dancing in the rain,
during the Sonic Youth concert...

Sleeping in the hammock on the terrace, while Anne makes capirinas...

Total comfort...

...... Really?

Narrowing in...

After a couple of weeks of getting to know the Hub and it's members, understanding and defining the assignments and prejecting, we have finally started started our design process, narrowing in on what could be the concrete results of our work.

To sum up the assignments we are now working on, there are 2 main areas:

1. Working to highten the network awareness in the Hub - this means finding out exactly who (and why and how) is in the network, but as the main focus of our work; How to create a greater sense of community, that encourages the members to use each other in their individual work, as well as in making the Hub the best it can be. (The deliverables will be several different concepts on initiatives/tools/projects for this purpose, and at least one documented and evaluated pilot)

Negative Brainstorm - How to create alienation & conflict in the Hub?

2. Designing and facilitating a weekend for the Hub Team ("the administration"), focusing on them as a team, as well as building and defining a future strategy for the Hub.


Besides these assignments, we are following other things at the Hub (attending different meetings, learning about different projects going on etc.), from the sidelines.

torsdag den 5. november 2009

A weekend at the brazilian beach

Last weekend, our wonderful hostfamily for the first 2 weeks (The Ferraro's), took us to their summer-apartment, right by a beach outside Sao Paulo. We arrived late Friday evening, and were there until Monday afternoon (as Monday was a holiday).

If you are looking for profound, professional input, this is not the video for you - for everyone else: Welcome to our wonderful weekend at the beach.

A weekend at the Beach from gunvor jøsendal on Vimeo.

Traffic- Cars

The cars of SP are as divers as the people in it. It is filled with;
motorcycles, old VW's, beetles, dusty veterans, and shiny silver Chevrolets...I think the only criteria is a strong handbreak, that will hold the cars on the steep hills.

Brazilian booty

Oh Yeah - The Brazilian mannequin dolls have junk in the trunk!

onsdag den 4. november 2009

70% of Sao Paulo?

Birds, telephones, wires, contrasting colours & graffiti...

fredag den 30. oktober 2009

Otto Scharmer At Natura

Yesterday (Thursday) we filled up a car, and left the concrete city of Sao Paulo, to go Natura - a Brazilian cosmetic company, whom according to the rumor is known for it's sustainable initiatives and eco friendly, natural products. They have a direct sales model, similar to what we know from Tupperware parties, with more than 800.000 consultants or resellers (!), resulting in a revenue that surpasses Avon's.

The headquarters of Natura lay approx 1 hour outside Sao Paulo, in the middle of a nature reserve. It's massive, beautiful buildings, are designed after the principles of Feng Shui, and all offices are said to have a view of the beautiful nature surrounding the compound (...Although we find this hard to believe, as it would imply an obscene amount of toilets and copyrooms at the center of the buildings).

Walking through the glass and concrete corridors, was like constantly walking by a newly groomed person, leaving a scented trail of perfume and beauty products.

The main purpose of our visit however, was to attend a lecture by Otto Scharmer, followed by free snacks and coffee (as most things seem to be here). As Anne has already done some work with U theory, several of the points were familiar to her, but it was mostly new to me.

As a result of our day, I (gunvor) decided to become a published moviedirector/editor/producer, and with an iMovie introduction-movie close by, I created this fantabules film, documenting our visit at Natura, and some of Otto Schamer’s lecture. Enjoy!

The Hatter on Paulista Avenue

Today I walked down Paulista Avenue, down what might be called the dodgy end. Here the shops are filled with materials of lac and leather, metal chains and shorts, which are almost not there, and of course stiletto heals up to a size 46!

In the midst of all this, I met a person, who seemed somewhat to stand out: An elderly gentleman, who looked as if he had just stepped out of the 50'ies, ready to attend to a young ladies request- And this was not far from the truth.

The gentleman is Monsieur Plas. In an area of lac and leather, he values felt, more precisely felt hats in any color shape and size. He has made them, and suits since 1954.

And today I had the privilege of trying them all... I think I will be going for a top hat!

Brazilian Wildlife

With its Amazon rainforest, Brazil is home to more than one third of the species of the world! It has the greatest biodiversity, of any country on the planet, and the most known species of plants, freshwater fish, and mammals.

…But I guess, that this will not effect our exploration of the approx 17 mill populated, over-polluted city of Sao Paulo. Therefor I have sought for another species of wildlife, likewise eye-catching and diverse.

Actually I think I have found something surpassing the natural wildlife in uniqueness. I am talking about the creatures and beings, that lives and sneaks about the concrete walls of SP. Colorful, animated, painted, cut out and glued on, silent, subtile, screaming, with clear messages, or quirky whimsical thoughts. In your face or hidden treasures in alleys and behind downpipes. No matter what habitat they are to be found in, we will try to hunt them down...

onsdag den 28. oktober 2009

And then it rained...

After a sunny couple of days, the sky opened up, and let down an impressive amount of water.

This solved the mystery of why there are so many moats along side the roads.

Luckily, the doomsday-like rain has a tendency to disappear just as quickly as it appears. And by this weekend the weather should be back to it's sunny self.


On a sidenote: Never stand right next to Anne when there's thunder and lightning - she gets scared, and her immediate reaction is to hit whomever is near to her.

mandag den 26. oktober 2009

Our assignments

During our stay at the Hub we have 3 main assignments that we will be working with, and a couple of others that are possible if we have the time and/or resources. Pablo sent us the following map, as a short introduction to it all, before we came here:

Now, during the first week, we are focusing on the coming weekend, where we will be facilitating a teambuilding- and strategic planning weekend for the Hub team (6 people). As part of this we are also learning more about the Hub as an organization, about it's members, and about it's opportunities and challenges.

Today we have made a rapid prototype for the days, as well as prepared for interviews with the participants. We have also tried to make a visualization that can help us plan and document our work (Thanks to Anne's graphic skills, it is coming along smoothly).

All of this has left us very curious and full of questions to explore. Tomorrow we will meet with Pablo, to go more in to detail with what the process should hold and some of the practicalities around it, as well as start creating an overall timeplan for the rest of our stay at the Hub.

Traffic no 1 - Street Juggle

1, 2, 3 tricks in the middle of the intersection, before the lights turn green - so exact, that it barely leaves the street artist any time to collect the extra coins the drivers have laying, and are willing to spare for the brief entertainment, before they move on in hectic traffic.

lørdag den 24. oktober 2009

Our first day at the Hub

We visited the Hub for the first time on Friday, but sadly our contact Pablo was out sick, so we spent the day mostly meeting the people there, and getting to know the place.

One of the first people we met was Henrique (T13) - ...small world... - and we had lunch with him and a russian girl called Anastasia at a Brazilian restaurant, where you take what you want from a buffet, and pay by the kilo. This is very common, and a cheap way to try out different types of Brazilian food.

Mais Amor

A little more love please, it says on one telephone both - In Sao Paulo they also believe in The Beatles.

Here you see cracking colorful walls, lush green grass blankets in the passages between the cement roads and broken tiles. A shoe box town Pablo called the place, since all the buildings are big boxes with secrets inside.

The Shoe boxes are often painted with images and expressions, or long tendrils of foliage. I am looking forward to exploring Sao Paulo, and hope to give you a peek in on the secrets i find.

Electric religion

Visited Sao Paulo da Sé (cathedral) today.

...Turns out that candles are not all the rave of the catholic church anymore - now you can pay 50 cent, and an electrical light will burn in your favor... I lit one for the overwelming success of our future projects.

fredag den 23. oktober 2009

We're here!

After a 30 hour travel from Århus - Sao Paulo, including one planned stop in Madrid, and a not-so-planned stop in Rio, we have officially arrived at our destination!

Host family check
Caipirinha check
Found the Hub check
Drank the coffee check
Wearing shorts check
Bought plastic shoes check